Manager Danny Johnson has today told the AUFC website that he is under no illusions as to the size of the task he faces in turning his team’s season around. The gaffer offered no excuses although the fact remains that any team without the likes of Danny Caldecott, Ged Murphy, Chris Amadi, Alex Frost, George Melling, Matty O’Neill, Wayne Cahill, Craig Robinson and Peter Wright would face an uphill struggle.
The gaffer explains ‘no excuses, we were poor again. I expect much more from the players I have in the squad and I won’t accept performances like that long term. I brought in the players that played last night and I will be the one who lets them go. The next 4-6 weeks will be all about re-grouping, adding a few quality players, getting a few injured players back and letting one or two players go. We just need to get through this period relatively unscathed. I have 5 or 6 irons in the fire but I need to move players out before I can bring players in, so that is what I will be doing. It is quite obvious we have not been good enough all over the pitch.’
‘The most disappointing thing for me is that we won the league cup last season beating the best teams in the competition and we fall at the first hurdle this time around. Gutted, is a word I would use. My team lacked heart, desire, courage and many other ingredients that are required to win football matches but mark my words I will turn this situation around and turn it around quickly.’
‘Before the game I actually told the players that I felt far too many of them had their slippers on and were here because we create a nice environment which is enjoyable. The performance against Lancaster proved that those thoughts were 100% correct. I will be making changes on Saturday and 3 or 4 of the lads who didn’t perform on Wednesday will find themselves doing a tough training session. Players like Craig Robinson and Ged Murphy will hopefully be back within the next 10/14 days and both George Melling and Alex Frost will be available for selection on Saturday whilst Chris Amadi sits out the final game of his three match suspension. However, Kyle Harrop will miss the next four games due to his sending off against Chester in the FA Trophy.’
‘No one will be working as hard as me to get things right. I have been in a similar position on a number of occasions and I will be taking heart from the fact that on all of those occasions we have improved once we have our best players available for selection again. The next two or three weeks will be a time of transition where I will look at a couple of players and try to get some players back to match fitness. This isn’t an ideal situation but it is the position we find ourselves in. I have read some of the comments on the forum and can’t disagree with many however, I would ask people to stay positive as we will turn this around. I always say enjoy the good times as the tough times are just around the corner. I certainly enjoyed winning the league cup last season as did our supporters, let’s remember that success and remain positive.’
‘We still have plenty of quality players at this club and I will continue to bring in quality players. The fact is that those who don’t perform and show the right commitment won’t be with us very long. Craig Robinson, Dave Powell, Dave Haworth and I are already looking at ways to improve and are constantly trying to identify opportunities to improve us. I said at the start of the season that this would be my toughest challenge as manager of Ashton United and it is proving that way. We will improve, there is no doubt about that.’